news charlottesville kenny chesney to kick off 2023 i go back tour at jpj

Charlottesville: Kenny Chesney to kick off 2023 ‘I Go Back’ tour at JPJ

kenny chesney JPJKenny Chesney’s “I Go Back” 2023 tour will make a stop in Charlottesville at John Paul Jones Arena on March 23. The concert will also feature special guest Kelsea Ballerini.

When Kenny Chesney wrapped his 2022 “Here And Now” tour, the East Tennessee songwriter/superstar knew he wanted to create a touring experience to make 2023 every bit as special.

He made the decision to dial in on those cities that were a major part of establishing what has become the soundtrack of coming of age in the 21st Century, naming the tour “I Go Back” and taking his music to the fans beyond the stadium markets.

John Paul Jones Arena is the first scheduled stop on the tour which concludes July 22 in Des Moines, Iowa.

“I can still hear No Shoes Nation singing those songs after being apart for four whole summers,” Chesney, who just received 28 RIAA gold, platinum and multi-platinum certifications, said. “It’s a sound that reminds me how much music really means to people. It’s not about the numbers, but the joy you see on people’s faces – and the more I thought about it, the more I thought about taking the music to the people who were there when this thing was taking off.”

Three-time GRAMMY nominee Kelsea Ballerini will join the tour. A songwriting force, she launched her singular career with three consecutive No. 1s and a Best New Artist GRAMMY nomination and has not looked back.

“Music has taken me so many incredible places,” Ballerini said in a news release. “Around the world, singing with some of my heroes in pop, alternative and contemporary music, but singing with Kenny is going home. He was the only voice I heard on ‘half of my hometown,’ and when he comes in, it’s just like hitting the Knoxville city limits. So to be able to go out to those cities like the place he and I grew up with an artist who’s accomplished what he has, it’s a lot like going home.”

“I Go Back 2023 is going to be so awesome,” Chesney said. “To be able to take this music to where it comes from? To have Kelsea Ballerini out there with me, maybe even singing ‘half of my hometown’? It’s going to be a tour unlike any other – and I can’t wait.”

The “I Go Back” 2023 tour is presented by Blue Chair Bay Rum.

Tickets go on sale Dec. 9 at 10 a.m. at and

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.